Charles Oakley weighs in on LeBron James’ future with Lakers: ‘He might leave LA’ to win another title

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When Charles Oakley speaks, it’s probably in your best interest to listen.

As part of a press run in conjunction with the release of his new book “The Enforcer,” Oakley had some bold takes surrounding Lakers forward LeBron James, who he claims could take his talents to another destination as soon as he gets the chance.

MORE: Oakley’s new book explains why LeBron never joined the Knicks

“You know LeBron, his legacy right now is he definitely wants to win a championship before he retires,” Oakley said during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “He might leave LA to get it. I don’t know if it will be Cleveland, could be somewhere else. He left twice. He’ll leave again.”

“He left twice… he’ll leave again.” @CharlesOakley34 tells @TheFrankIsola & @Scalabrine his thoughts on LeBron’s future pic.twitter.com/xsxCbUd1qX

— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) February 1, 2022

At this point, you might be wondering, “why would Charles Oakley have any pertinent information regarding the future of LeBron James?” 

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In addition to being one of the most revered retired NBA players, Oakley, like James, is a native of Northeast Ohio, with Oakley’s roots firmly planted in Cleveland. James even referred to Oakley as “Unk” when wishing him a happy 50th birthday in 2013.

Happy 50th bday to my Unk Charles Oakley. I dare u to say something to me out of line! Hahaha #BackHandComingToACityNearYou #LiveItUpUnk

— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 18, 2013

Regardless of whether or not Oakley’s words are derived from something he learned from the source himself, the concept of James moving on does make some sense.

Less than two years removed from winning the 2020 NBA title, the Lakers are struggling, holding a 24-27 record through 51 games in the 2021-22 season, with the fit between James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook looking increasingly complicated by the minute.

MORE: LeBron’s complete injury history

As the Lakers’ money is tied into the aforementioned three, the franchise is largely limited in what it can do to improve the roster in the coming years. That said, James’ best shot at winning at least one more NBA title could indeed be elsewhere, as Oakley said.

“Unk” might be onto something.

When will LeBron James be a free agent?

After signing a two-year $85.7 million dollar contract extension in 2020, James is under contract with the Lakers through the 2022-23 season. James will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2023 offseason.

LeBron James’ contract

  2021-22 2022-23
LeBron James $41,180,544 $44,474,988

(Salary figures courtesy of Spotrac .)

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